Tag Archives: deliberate practice

How to Become … [Anything]

deliberate practice and patience

I’m often asked how I could possibly find the time to read 50 or 60 books a year with a job, a family, exercise and every day social media distractions. I always tell them the same thing: I don’t try to gulp down books. I don’t set aside time for reading. Or plan to read for an hour after dinner. I just read whenever and wherever I can. Sure, sometimes I do go on hour-long binges, but mostly I read in 5 or 10 minute sips. I read in line. I read in waiting rooms. I read during lunch. It adds up to a lot of books over the course of the year.

I’ve found this small, simple act has become a cornerstone of my life as I get older and appreciate the inevitable and inescapable impact of time. Take one tiny, simple step. Repeat it daily. Have patience and the results will begin to accumulate. That’s it. It’s not new. It’s the debt snowball. Or Seinfeld’s chain. Or Ericsson’s rules for deliberate practice. But it’s no less powerful and I’ve come to appreciate it’s impact.

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Scenes from Saturday + Kid’s Film Festival

With the holidays over, we are back to daily flashcards, piano, spelling and reading practice. As you might guess, Cecilia is thrilled. Even though each one takes 15 minutes or less, it’s usually a source of drama, but I’m a big believer in consistent, deliberate practice to learn new things. I believe it works, but there is a dark side: it’s not fun. 

It’s hard. Sometimes it hurts. Most of the time it’s miserable. But it does work. I just haven’t figured out how to explain that to an 8-year old. Continue Reading